Tracking Outbound Links

Google, Tools, Wordpress

I was checking out on a new analytics service called CrazyEgg. The application is supposed to help you get a clear picture of where your visitor are clicking including the Ads. Accordingly the user can change/customize the layout of the site. It does display the clicked links pretty nicely. You can view the results in 3 modes

1. Overlay – Get Details of Each Individual Link in the page

2. List – View full summary of click data

3. HeatMap – View what is hot and not on your page.

With the free version you can track only 2 pages and the number of visits is limited to 5000/month. The free plan does not support live reporting !. Check this snapshot for their pricing plans.

So is the paid version really worth ? The same functionality of tracking outbound links can be achieved in Google Analytics. I guess very few people are aware of this feature. The analytics is primarily used to track the incoming statistics. However you can also track outbound links in your site.

And with analytics no longer requiring “invites”, its more inviting to use this application 🙂

Tracking Outbound Links using Google Analytics

1. If you check the source of this page, you will observe for that all the hyperlinks, the onclick attribute is set. This is one example

onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker
(‘/outbound/article/www.ageofempires3.com’)

The onclick attribute is the one which does the trick. The urchinTracker takes care of logging the click in your analytics. (Note:The path doesn’t need to be exactly like mentioned above)

2. How to check in Google Analytics ? Open “Content Drilldown” under “Content Optimization

It should show “/outbound” as one of the Directories. Click on the folder icon and you can further navigate through the links

You should be able to see the statistics for all the outbound links. Another way of checking this is through the “Top Exit Points” option

Just type “outbound” in the filter text to view the statistics.

3. Do I need to add the “onscript” manually for all the links ? If you use wordpress, the answer is NO :). There is a nice little plugin called Google Analytics plugin available here. Once you activate the plugin, it automatically adds urchinTracker tracking script for all outbound links.

4 comments… add one

  • MOTO-CITY Apr 1, 2007

    The tracking of outbound links with Google Analytics has got to be one of it’s biggest features after Goal setting.

  • IPhone Apr 9, 2007

    hey, thanks for this nice article!
    I only knew the basics of ”Google Analytics”,
    I never knew we could track outbound links like this.
    interresting..

  • Harri Apr 10, 2007

    Thanks for the tips and for the more in-depth coverage than google’s rudimentary help files. How to check the results was especially helpful!

  • James Aug 5, 2007

    For maximizing ad revenue, tracking outbound links is very important. You need to find the best possible positioning for your ads.

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